Climate agreement: gas consumers will pay the bill later

In the Climate Agreement presented on Tuesday, the target to emit less CO2 has been tightened up considerably; to 49% in 2030. That is a lot higher than the agreements in the Paris Climate Agreement (40%) or the current Coalition Agreement.

To achieve this goal, large investments are needed in sustainable energy sources, such as wind farms. SMEs and industry must invest heavily in the electrification of installations or switching to hydrogen gas. Companies want a billion dollar subsidy for this. Finally, both the construction industry and consumers are encouraged to switch off gas and take as many energy-saving measures as possible. Who will pay the bill? Minister Wiebes stressed that the citizen should not be the victim of the transition to a CO2-neutral society.

In many areas the Climate Agreement is still unclear, but it is clear that the gas consumer will pay the bill soon. In order to get all Dutch homes off the gas by 2050, the Climate Agreement stipulates that the gas tax must be increased by € 0.055 in 2020 and by € 0.20 per cubic meter by 2030.

In order to motivate the switch to electricity, the electricity tax will decrease by € 0.027 per kWh in the coming years. These changes appear to be in addition to the changes in the current Coalition Agreement: an increase in gas tax of € 0.03 per cubic meter of gas and a decrease in the electricity tax of € 0.0072 per kWh. In contrast, the reduction announced in the Coalition Agreement on the tax reduction of € 51, – from 2019. And then the increase from € 81, – to 2030 in the Climate Agreement.

The annual gas bill of an average household, with a consumption of 1,500 m3 of gas, increases by € 408. This is due to an increase in gas tax from € 472 to € 880 in 2030. The annual electricity account of an average household, based on 3,500 kWh, drops by € 352 in the same period. A household that has completely switched to electricity in 2030 saves an amount of € 710, – incl. VAT per year on the energy tax, based on an increased power consumption of 10,000 kWh per year.

In order to get rid of the gas and to benefit from the lower electricity tax, consumers have to invest themselves. Although the low interest on these investments is also tax-deductible, it is still the question whether all households are able to carry these investments. The lowest incomes now pay the most relative to climate policy. It is also unclear what the two million rental properties in the Netherlands are.

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